Posted by Heather Rutz on Jun 08, 2017
The Apollo expansion is a community partnership.
The $53 million expansion and renovation of Apollo Career Center has been a true community partnership that creates a state-of-the-art learning center to support the region’s economic development, officials told Rotary Monday.
Apollo Superintendent Judy Wells and Touchstone CPM CEO Nate Neuenschwander discussed the project, explaining the role of a construction manager and how planning including flexibility for future needs.
Touchstone is a sister company to Tuttle Construction, which has built many of the new school projects in the region and across the state. Touchstone manages projects, and this project needed and benefitted from a manager, Wells said.
The project was done in seven phases and much of the building stayed in service as construction happened. It finished on time and under budget. The work was done by a general contractor, Garman Miller, and 30 to 40 other trade contractors. The project more than doubled the size of the campus.
The work happened because Allen County approved a levy that funded $30 million of the cost. The other $23 million came from the state.
Wells works closely with Allen Economic Development Group on workforce development. She, like many, is watching a population decline contribute to a workforce gap. At any given moment, there are about 1,300 unfilled jobs in the area. That number is only going to grow, and the region still needs trained workers.
Apollo partners with 11 schools in four counties.
“These are your employees,” Wells told Rotary. “They need to be trained well.”
The expansion and renovation project changed the campus in many ways. As the work also brought in new equipment, work spaces and labs, it also needed to remain flexible. For example, Neuenschwander and Wells said, a space that was originally marked for electrical training ended up as space for robotics and advanced manufacturing.
Wells said plans for the school include the addition of new programs in the fall and increasing access for the public, including through the café, spa, and floral areas.
In other Rotary business:
The club recognized five graduating seniors from UNOH who have helped lead the Rotaract Club this year. The students will wear Rotaract sashes at their commencement.
Esther Baldridge and Bob Ruehl received District 6600 service awards recently, for their leadership on the 4-Way Essay Contest and the global grant for the sanitary and hygiene project, respectively.
The Lima Rotary Foundation presented checks to the High Octane Drum Line and Christian Corner Community Center.
The Sergeant At Arms Committee is looking for helpers over the next few months.
Rotary is presenting several pop-up free family summer movies throughout the community this summer and is in need of sponsors for each.